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Old Sep 26, 2012, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by grimbeaver View Post
I find that number a little hard to believe. Are they factoring in losses from the EV1 in the 90's or something?
No, but they are distributing the entire fixed/sunk development cost of the "series hybrid" drivetrain technology the Volt uses among only the Volts sold to date, with no assumption/projection of future sale accounted for, or other vehicles using that technology.

So, in reality: If Chevy never sells another Volt again, AND never uses the series hybrid drivetrain technology again in another vehicle, then yes, the article is "true" that each car represents a ~$50k loss to GM.

It's also highly misleading, because it is quite obvious that GM will (and is) continuing to sell Volts, and is currently developing several other vehicles that make use of the hybrid tech they invested that R&D money in.

I don't know where the break-even point is, but the simple truth is that the more Volts are sold, the lower that $50k loss/vehicle number goes, and eventually it will, in fact, go positive.

The (deceptive) implication that article makes, and wants the casual reader to come away with, is that every Volt sold, now and in the future, will cost GM $50k, which is patently false.

To say any more on the subject would inevitably fall into the realm of politics. Suffice it to say that this report (and those that echo it), have a highly partisan agenda that they're hoping you will buy into (or already agree with), without checking the facts for yourself. This is all too common these days, and sadly effective as well.
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 01:33 PM
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Nicely stated, WRX.

You know, I typically cannot resist talking with sales personnel regarding their electric / hybrid / plug-in hybrid vehicles whenever I get the opportunity just to see their 'sales angle' and how they are wooing prospective buyers. Some actually try to sell on the fuel savings angle but when I bring up total cost of ownership, they become very silent.

Per sales folks that I have talked with, most buyers in my area are well-heeled early adopters who simply find enjoyment in owning the technology. Nothing wrong with that and they can easily afford the maintenance costs throughout the life of the vehicle which, in the case of electric only vehicles, are typically dramatically higher than an equivalent ICE vehicle.

The lesson here - educate yourself rather than simply drinking the kool-aid.

Mark
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 01:54 PM
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They bank on people not calculating the total cost of ownership. Just look at the Honda Civic. 39MPG on the regular and 44MPG on the hybrid. But wait, the difference in price between the base models is $8205. No way you are making that up.
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 02:02 PM
A man with too many toys
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Winter Driving

Does anyone have any actually experience with an all electric automobile?


In the winter it gets very cold where I live and I was wondering about things like defrosters and heat. How does that work? Also how well does the batteries perform after it has been setting at 20F for a couple of days?


Are these intended for summer only or what?


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Old Sep 26, 2012, 02:15 PM
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All-electric vehicles are littered throughout Southern California, where the weather is near-perfect all of the time. IMO, owning an electric-only vehicle in other market that has extreme temperatures (desert heat or sub-zero freezing) would be foolish and self-indulgent.

Mark
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mrforsyth View Post
Nicely stated, WRX.

You know, I typically cannot resist talking with sales personnel regarding their electric / hybrid / plug-in hybrid vehicles whenever I get the opportunity just to see their 'sales angle' and how they are wooing prospective buyers. Some actually try to sell on the fuel savings angle but when I bring up total cost of ownership, they become very silent.

Per sales folks that I have talked with, most buyers in my area are well-heeled early adopters who simply find enjoyment in owning the technology. Nothing wrong with that and they can easily afford the maintenance costs throughout the life of the vehicle which, in the case of electric only vehicles, are typically dramatically higher than an equivalent ICE vehicle.

The lesson here - educate yourself rather than simply drinking the kool-aid.

Mark
Those well-heeled individuals are making the technology possible which will eventually make it available to the not so well-heeled individuals. It's simply how major technology changes happen. Do you remember when the first 42" plasma TV's were $15? Look at where the 42" plasma and LED/LCD prices are now.

The lesson here - educate yourself before accusing others of drinking the Kool-Aid. Then thank them for paying the penalty for being an early adopter so the rest of us can purchase the technology for less $$$ in the future.
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 03:03 PM
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There isn't much early adoption required. Tesla Model S essentially has it all, with no real downside other than price--but it's the same as other high-end sedans anyway ($60-70k).

And the statement that EV maintenance cost is "typically dramatically higher than an equivalent ICE vehicle." ? First, care to cite a source on that? Second, there isn't exactly much data to go by yet, mass-market EVs only being around for a very short time (Leaf/Focus). Seems to me there should be much less maintenance. More uncertain is the battery and its expected lifespan. Warranty is 8 years I believe, but what about after that? $$ for a new one.
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 03:19 PM
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There isn't much early adoption required. Tesla Model S essentially has it all, with no real downside other than price--but it's the same as other high-end sedans anyway ($60-70k).

And the statement that EV maintenance cost is "typically dramatically higher than an equivalent ICE vehicle." ? First, care to cite a source on that? Second, there isn't exactly much data to go by yet, mass-market EVs only being around for a very short time (Leaf/Focus). Seems to me there should be much less maintenance. More uncertain is the battery and its expected lifespan. Warranty is 8 years I believe, but what about after that? $$ for a new one.
We're talking about technology adoption, not one individual brand. The Tesla is not even close to being mainstream and likely never will. I'd certainly consider it an early adopter vehicle.
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 03:21 PM
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PLEASE!!

How long will a Tesla battery last? ICE vehicles do not need a new 'fuel tank' that costs to the tune of $30,000-50,000 after 80-100K miles.

One of my friends owns a Tesla. He bricked his battery after less than 20k miles. Elon would not cover it. My friend was quite understandably apoplectic, even though he could readily afford the replacement battery.

Anyone who believes that an all-electric vehicle is anywhere near competitive on a total lifecycle cost basis with an equivalent ICE vehicle needs to get his head out of the sand.

I'm tremendously grateful to the early adopters for sacrificing and blazing this trail but any dealer who tries to sell an all-electric vehicle based on total ownership cost is shifty and disingenuous, at least as my meager brain sees it.

Mark
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 03:29 PM
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Do you remember when the first 42" plasma TV's were $15?
In what country was that?
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 03:29 PM
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Let's try some math...

grimbeaver quotes the added cost of a hybrid Honda at $8200 (rounded off.) At $4 per gallon of fuel, that means the owner "pre-bought" 2050 gallons of gas. The difference in mileage is 5mpg, so the owner will use up his "pre-buy" of fuel in the first 10,250 miles. After that, he is saving money on fuel at the rate of about 13%, since the fuel savings due to the hybrid drivetrain are 5 in 39. This last point about having to replace batteries means that the owner will have to drive another 10K miles before their replacement is necessary if the battery pack costs $8000. If the batteries last 5 years, paying even for that cost shouldn't be hard. I hope I did this right, but looking at it this way, we should all be driving these!??!!
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 03:40 PM
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There isn't much early adoption required. Tesla Model S essentially has it all, with no real downside other than price--but it's the same as other high-end sedans anyway ($60-70k).
Perhaps I'm an oddball but I personally consider ~140 miles range per 'tank' and nearly 5 hours to refuel my 'tank' to go another ~140 miles to be a massive downside. This, coupled with the fact that I would eventually need a new 'fuel tank' that costs $30k or more makes total ownership cost to be significantly greater than other luxury sedans.

Still, it's nice to see them on the road. And fortunately, most who purchase them have tremendous means so the pain to the pocket is incidental.

Mark
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 03:50 PM
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Perhaps I'm an oddball but I personally consider ~140 miles range per 'tank' and nearly 5 hours to refuel my 'tank' to go another ~140 miles to be a massive downside. This, coupled with the fact that I would eventually need a new 'fuel tank' that costs $30k or more makes total ownership cost to be significantly greater than other luxury sedans.
Mark
Umm where are you getting your figures? Take a look at the Model S specs on the Tesla site. There are several charge rates available, and the range isn't 140 miles! You might be thinking of the previous model. And 30-50k for a new battery? I assume you just made that up? Source please.

It's certainly not 100% ready for primetime, lack of 'supercharging' (quick 30-min type charge) stations, being an important issue. But for many (most?) people, charging overnight, at home, will *more* than suffice for the next day's travel.
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by mrforsyth View Post
Perhaps I'm an oddball but I personally consider ~140 miles range per 'tank' and nearly 5 hours to refuel my 'tank' to go another ~140 miles to be a massive downside. This, coupled with the fact that I would eventually need a new 'fuel tank' that costs $30k or more makes total ownership cost to be significantly greater than other luxury sedans.

Still, it's nice to see them on the road. And fortunately, most who purchase them have tremendous means so the pain to the pocket is incidental.

Mark
Your TCO evaluation seems severely lacking as you're fixated on just the replacement battery cost. The are many more factors to be considered for evaluating a TCO.

I'm not saying and EV has a lower TCO, I'm just admitting I don't know.

However, while at the NEAT Fair two weeks ago in Upstate NY gas was $4.20/gallon.
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Old Sep 26, 2012, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim Marsden View Post
grimbeaver quotes the added cost of a hybrid Honda at $8200 (rounded off.) At $4 per gallon of fuel, that means the owner "pre-bought" 2050 gallons of gas. The difference in mileage is 5mpg, so the owner will use up his "pre-buy" of fuel in the first 10,250 miles. After that, he is saving money on fuel at the rate of about 13%, since the fuel savings due to the hybrid drivetrain are 5 in 39. This last point about having to replace batteries means that the owner will have to drive another 10K miles before their replacement is necessary if the battery pack costs $8000. If the batteries last 5 years, paying even for that cost shouldn't be hard. I hope I did this right, but looking at it this way, we should all be driving these!??!!
Not quite.

Gas engine: 39mpg @ $4 / gallon = $.103 / mile
Hybrid: 44mpg @ $4 / gallon = $.091 / mile

Savings / mile: $.103 - .091 = $.012, or 1.2 cents per mile.

$8000 divided by $.012 / mile = 667,000 miles to break even.

This does not consider extra maintenance of the hybrid (battery, special tires, etc.).

Mark
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